Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

This is the TRADITIONAL one and I still have to celebrate it somehow.

I remember, growing up, that Memorial Day was a very special day. I grew up in the Air Force – we traveled all over the place, so I had no place to really call HOME except my mother’s home-town. That was where my closest relatives lived and we even lived there for a year when my dad was overseas and we weren’t. So nearly every year we were in a different town on that day.

But Memorial Day brings memories of lilacs drooping over the sidewalks and putting my senses into heaven. Was it warmer then? I can’t remember many rainy Memorial Days – they were all sunny and hot.

School was nearly over – always we took that day off because we had one or two more days left; the school board required you to return to school after the 30th to receive your report cards. It wasn’t commonly known that the report card could be MAILED if you didn’t come back – missing the last day of school was as big a sin as missing Christmas Eve services or Easter Morning services. It just wasn’t DONE in my society!

For half a month, school was torture! We would sit with the windows open, smelling the lilacs, wishing we were OUTSIDE … the schools would heat up (no air conditioning to soften the students) to almost unbearable heat, the sun would shine in and students would have a hard time paying attention or even keeping awake.

Then, finally, Memorial Day! The day to not go to school! There were picnics, parades, ceremonies and visits to the cemeteries. Since the towns were not OUR towns, my family rarely went to cemeteries except the year we lived in my mom’s hometown.

That year in "our" home town, after the parade (very small – it was a town of about a thousand people), my family went to the cemetery to lay flowers on my grandfather’s grave. My Nana talked about Grandpa (he died when Mom was 14) and also about Baby Sister. The baby was less than a year old when she died, in the 1920s, making Mom the “baby” once again. She also got flowers. Nana remembered her often – as would I if one of my children died – and often talked about her, as well.

Then back to Auntie Pete’s house (Uncle Hooky and family lived on the family farm and came in for the day; Auntie Pete and Uncle Goosey lived in town) for a picnic in the yard. Again, with those blessed lilacs all over the place. The older towns seem to be swamped with lilacs on every street.

The sun was always shining; it was always hot and breezy. No rain, no strong winds. We cousins would gather in a corner of the yard after eating and play games of some kind while the adults sat at the picnic tables and talked.

However, no matter how much family time, we always remembered what DAY it was … a day to honor the “glorious” dead – not just the family members that had passed, but the soldiers that had given their lives for love of Country and Freedom.

Perhaps I feel this is a more important day because of being raised in the armed forces or just because I have gotten old and live more in memories than in the present. But whatever the reason, this is a special day for me.


And it will be a beautiful one. You have a beautiful Memorial Day!



(Disclaimer - this is NOT my picture - I found it on the web!)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

For those who celebrate it today, I want to take time to wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and memorable day.

I have decided perhaps I shouldn’t be such a snob and a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to dates. For those of you who have known me for a while, you know what I feel about three-day weekends and contrived holidays.

“Memorial Day” is one of them. It was originally set just after the Civil War to honor the fallen from that war. It had been set for May 5th, but then was changed from that date to the 30th of May. It was not until modern times when Congress decided that the general public needed a three-day weekend and had it moved to the last weekend in May.

From this time, Memorial Day has become, to the general public, a time to picnic, do summer things and go to S*A*L*E*S!!! There is more advertising for furniture, beds, mattresses and other household items than for anything else in the media.

I have insisted on celebrating on THE day, May 30th, but am in a very, very small minority. So, here I go, throwing my stick into the ring and joining the masses.

On the radio (I listen mainly to Public Radio), there are wonderful works to celebrate today, including one of my favorites – Aaron Copeland’s “Abraham Lincoln.”

I will not picnic today – being alone, I would just have lunch or supper outside, but since it’s massively windy, I’ll just eat by the window and hope to catch a glimpse of birds being whipped by. But I will spend time thinking of the reason for today and hope and pray that someday we will be celebrating the honored, distant PAST dead, not the recent dead!

I might go out and dig some Phlox from the berm and move it to a few other places. Candy (lucky girl) has too much but I have just a few plants, only in one spot. I hope to move it and have too much, as well.

And, I found a spot in a rock pile that seemed to have a whole lot of wild roses, so I think I’ll go try to transplant some of them, as well. Since the wind is blowing so hard, the gnats will not be out (and that’s another story), so I can actually go outside!

I am borrowing (stealing?) an article that Grandma Rosie had on her blog (thanks, Rosie) for you to think about.

You have a blessed, peaceful and beautiful day!

General Orders No.11
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If our eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from his honor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
III. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
JOHN A. LOGAN, Commander-in-Chief
N.P. CHIPMAN, Adjutant General
Official: WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

The name was eventually changed to “Memorial Day” in 1882, and included honoring those that sacrificed their lives in all wars. Although recognized by 1890 by all of the northern states, the southern states did not participate in the same day until after World War I, having instead their own days set aside to honor the fallen veterans.

Nearly a century later, in 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday, celebrating it on the last Monday of May. Some Southern states still honor their Confederate soldiers on specific days as well:
• Alabama: Fourth Monday in April
• Georgia: April 26
• Louisiana: June 3
• Mississippi: Last Monday in April
• North Carolina: May 10
• South Carolina: May 10
• Tennessee (Confederate Decoration Day): June 3
• Texas (Confederate Heroes Day): January 19
• Virginia: Last Monday in May

The "Poppy"

The poppy is another symbol of Memorial Day dating back to the days of World War I. A woman named Moina Michael wrote a poem originally inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields.” Having made a personal pledge to 'keep the faith' she penned a poem, entitled “We Shall Keep the Faith.”

She became the first to wear a poppy—poppies of Flanders Fields—selling others to raise money to aid needy soldiers, and launching a campaign to make poppies a symbol of support for veterans. This practice soon spread around the world, with organizations making and selling artificial poppies for war causes. By 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was recognized as the first veterans association engaged in the national sales of artificial poppies. You can still see veterans outside of local supermarkets and stores selling poppies to support this cause!
Finally, in May of 2000, a "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed “Encouraging individual department and agency personnel, and Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all.”

So, as we fire up the bar-be-cue and break out with the jello-molds this Memorial Day, let’s take time to reflect on the brave men and women who have fought and died serving our country and preserving our freedoms. Take the time to proudly display a flag, and if you know of someone who has died in service, perhaps you can visit their grave or honor their family with a card. Purchase a poppy and wear it with pride! Whatever we do, taking a moment at 3:00 p.m. to offer prayers of thankfulness and gratitude is certainly the least we can all do in respect and reverence of their noble sacrifices.

A new friend

I have found a new friend on the web. My Iowa Garden has lovely flower pictures ... she does a great job with her flowers and has beautiful flowers! Go see her pink old-fashion rose she posted just the other day!

Have a beautiful flower-filled day!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The green is “on its way”

I have gotten the green / blue table “runner” started. The warp is a green cotton – and the weft is a combination of blue / green variegated cotton that is fluffier, softer and thicker. I had hoped that it would be greener, but it will be fine. It’s a combination of grass and sky, I suppose.



This will be eighteen inches wide and twenty-four inches long, which is why it’s not exactly a runner but perhaps a table cover for a small table. I might throw in some silver strands once in a while to represent the moon. I will have to see what it looks like when I do that.

As you can see, the solid green is warp and weft of the same threads, in tabby, as a hem. The pattern is not quite what I planned it. When I copied out the threading from my book, I missed a whole section! But I am using the suggested treadling and it’s looking pretty good. It’s called a “slub tabby” and it certainly looks slubbish to me!

On another note, I’m still putting programs into the computer and I am also re-burning music in. It’s nice to have the music on mornings that Norm is sleeping – I can put my headphones in and listen but not wake him up. Also, on our Florida trip, I was able to turn on some music at night and listen while I wrote. I lost some of the music, so I’m putting that back in and am putting new stuff in as well.

My brother taught me how to make “movies” with my pictures and sound – I made a four-minute one with the bird pictures that I had on my camera while he was here. Now I’m going through my blog and recovering the Florida pictures to do the same for the trip. Joy had one set of my pictures on her computer – we had traded Key Largo pictures – so I got them back.

When I went though all my graphic backups, I discovered that I lost “only” about six months of pictures – and the best Florida pictures had been put on the blog, so this is not a total loss. My tech has been trying to help me restore the lost ones but we have pretty much given up. Any program that is affordable doesn’t seem to work.

My worst loss, now, I think, is the data – my snail address file for friends and family, my email address file and my weaving file – I had kept track of my projects but hadn’t printed them out (shame on me!) for a folder yet! I guess I could re-write the information on the articles I have here at home, but can’t for the gifts I have given. Oh, well … they are in my head, sort of, if I want to duplicate the idea.

I never duplicate the article, though. I try to have each and every weaving different. I wouldn’t want to give Jane the very same thing I give Julie!! The colors might be the same but the pattern different, or the other way around, same pattern, different colors.
It’s warmed up and it a sunny, light breezy day. You have a beautiful day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I am a bachelor-ette!

Norm left this morning for our hometown. He is going to spend time with his brother and visit with the rest of his family that lives back there. He is also going to spend time with my folks and help my dad clean out his storage shed.

There is talk, from the folks, of moving to an apartment and selling their house. Just talk, right now, but they ARE slimming down on things in the house.

Today I have been bumming around and not doing much – enjoying my first day of “freedom.” I’ve been checking on the chickens (we lost one this afternoon – sigh) and adding bird feed to the feeders, as the wind is less than it has been.

I put an oriole feeder up – it was brother-in-law Wayne’s early Christmas present – he made one for Candy and one for a neighbor as well.

I saw a female oriole at the “old” orange just before I put the new feeder out.

I also saw my first hummingbird. The picture is not very good but it proves I have one!

And I have put peanuts out, hoping to draw some Blue Jays in, but I had a surprise visitor this afternoon. We have only seen a few squirrels out by the mail box .. this is the first one I’ve seen close to the house.

It was a beautiful day – nice and restful – you have a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Isn’t Mother Nature grand?

We picked up fifty Cornish X chicks this morning … I am going to try the hybrids again – I’ve been told I was raising them wrong last year. So I’m giving them another chance.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? These little babies hatched out of eggs yesterday, had never seen food or drink in their short little lives, but we took them out of the box and they started pecking on the floor, picking up the food I had scattered there and headed straight for the water pans! They are happy and content right now, eating and drinking and snoozing under the lamp.


I also picked up six Buff Orpington pullets as well. They are a little bit older, so will be able to hold their own as the crosses start growing. I love the beauty of the Buffs – they are pure gold when they grow up to be laying hens.

The larger one is a Buff

You can see the gold in the one looking at us, already!

Adults

I will go out at bedtime and ‘tuck’ the babies in for the night, as well as lock the hens (and roosters) up as well. We have been getting anywhere from ten to thirteen eggs from eighteen hens – pretty good for these gals!

Mother Nature teaches us how to survive in the world, even if we are ‘born’ without a mother to teach us how to grow in this world. Mother Nature also teaches us how to be content and relax when the time comes for relaxation.


Lucky sure enjoys life!


Ain’t She grand? Aren’t you glad you have such a great Mother to watch over the world and help it along?

It was a beautiful day today – a little bit of rain, a little bit of chill, very little wind, and now sunshine just before sunset. You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I’m back!

Not without problems, but I AM back. Right now I don’t have my old files or my old pictures, but my tech promises he will figure out what the problem is and hopes to fix it. At least he hasn’t thrown them off his computer (whew!). But for the moment (and maybe forever), I have lost my pictures and the only ones I have from the Florida trip are the ones that I have put on the blog. However, I had almost 1,000 pictures from the trip!

So, what have I been doing with my life since being on forced silence?

Mother’s Day ......................

I got flowers from Joy and family and rose plants from Jill and Eric.



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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Norm went fishing with Wayne and got some catfish.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Charles was here and we visited and played with his computer. I made a "movie" of some of my bird pictures that I had on my camera. It’s just about 4 minutes long but it’s fun to watch. I am hoping (and praying and crossing my fingers) that I can get my "pictures" back and make a "movie" of the Florida trip.

I did some weaving - I have started my curtains - well, drape, actually, for the bedroom - on the 15" loom. I also got the beginning of a table runner on the 36" loom, but it’s only 18" wide.

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Norm and I got the baby pen ready for chickens. We get broilers tomorrow. So another season of baby chicks has started.

I have been taking pictures of birds (when it wasn't windy).


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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Today has been a day of working with the tech, Vern, trying to see what the problem is with my files and pictures .. And they ARE corrupt. Vern thinks that there is a program out there than can recover them. I’m praying, anyway! And for the next disaster, I am going to get an external hard drive to put my back ups on. I do have a lot of back up disks for the pictures, but hadn’t done the Florida ones, yet! Sigh!!!

Thank you, Vern, for all your help! And I hope you can find a fix for the ones that are gone (but not forgotten).

It is W*I*N*D*Y to the max today! No wind gauge - but I want one! - but it must be close to 50 or 60 MPH out there. A storm is threatening and we might actually get rain. I hate to say this because so many are so desperate, but we do need some rain here!

So, now I go forward - re-installing all my programs, wracking my poor little brain as to how I did things to make these programs work better, building new folders and trying not to cry. At least I HAVE my computer!!

I will now be on more often - my brain has been full of ideas to write and now that I have a keyboard (fingers don’t like pencils), I can write again!

So, you have a beautiful day and I will see you soon!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Come on, everyone, let's all sing along!

"Ist dat not a double yolker?"

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"Yah, dat ist a double yolker!"


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"Double yolker! Double yolker! Ohhhhhhhhhhh....."


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Thank you, brother Charles, for allowing me to use your computer while you are here visiting. My hard drive IS corrupt and I need a new one. So I am waiting patiently (NOT!) for the computer to be repaired and returned to me.

Anyone who wants to contribute to a poor, unfortunate soul for the cost of the repair can send money through PayPal. I won't hold my breath, though!

It's a sad, sad world when people are so very dependent on computers and the Internet. And I am one of those sad, sad people.

So until I can become a happy people, I will play with my eggs, watch my pretty birdies, get email ONLY through an old, SLOW computer and wish you all beautiful days until I can come back.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Out in la-la land

Report time - my computer is dead-in-the-water and I am running around missing body parts because I have no computer. I am, right now, at a friend's house, so I am able to pop in and post this.

Hopefully the surgeons will be able to fix my baby without having to replace parts but they don't know at this time. All they can say is "it might need a new hard drive but we will have to wait and see." The only GOOD news at this time is that they are managing to save all my data and are now working on my pictures -- I have backed up most of my pictures but none since I left for Florida!!

So until I get things straightened out, rob a bank to pay for the surgery and get my baby back home, I will probably have to be off-line.

Until then, adieu and farewell. Pray for a quick, cheap recovery!! And have a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

There is very little breeze, it’s already up to 70ยบ and it’s sunny. The windows are open, the birds are singing, the radio is playing classical music and the Sons of Norway newsletter (including labels) is DONE!! And it’s 10:10 on May 10th!!


Do you see her? Do you see her?
A female Goldfinch on the rose bush RIGHT outside the window - I can almost touch her!

I love doing newsletters – I do the Sons of Norway one and the also the BARC one (Business Arts and Recreation Center). But the time spent on the bi-monthly letter is draining on other things I want / need to do.

But all of our trees are planted and I need to get the lawn mowed. Norm says I need to walk the yard to look for sticks (B*O*R*I*N*G!!) before I mow as the wind storm this past weekend dropped lots of goodies all over.

We got our last trees yesterday – two Apricot, two Filbert (Hazelnut) and three European Mountain Ash (Rowan). We (Norm, actually) got them into the ground – I bowed out un-gracefully; the gnats were out in full swarm and they EAT me alive! Not just swarm and bother, but actually EAT. I have had many times that I look like chicken pox or hives when gnats have finished with me. So I said “If you want supper before midnight, I’ll go in and fix it and you can finish the trees.” It’s true that a man’s heart is through his stomach. Promise him food and he’ll do anything – like plant trees alone!

We walked around to check on the trees we planted last week and the week before (and the week before); most of them are leafing out in fine form. Norm wouldn’t let me near the apple trees, as there were swarms of bees there, but he picked me a blossom to smell and hold. I will get a picture of the trees next time I am outside, but until then, this is what an apple blossom looks like (wish I could send smell over the Net!).

Yesterday was planting and re-potting inside. I repotted the lemon and lime trees out of their original pots into larger ones. They are not PRETTY pots but just temporary – they will eventually end up in five-gallon pots and those will be “pretty” ones.

Lemon tree, very pretty

And the lime, as well

I also put my air plants in the aquarium, which is now a terrarium ...repotted Norm’s orchid and put that in there, too. I hope they will grow. I am not putting a top on so that I have room for high growth.

So, now to cookies – Mr. I-am-dying-from-lack-of-cookies has been complaining big time and wasn’t even impressed that I got fresh bread baked for both of us yesterday – two loaves – he likes whole wheat, I like white. So I am going to make chocolate chip / mint cookies (found a batch of minty-swirl chips that Norm thought would taste good. I will bake them in the toaster oven as it is already seventy degrees out! It got rather hot yesterday with the oven roaring for the bread.

It WILL be a beautiful day – I’m singing the song from Okalahoma (but I don’t sound like Gordon MacRae); you have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A busy couple of days

When spring-time comes, a young man’s fancy turns to love ... an old woman’s fancy turns outside and has a hard time staying inside for trivial things like housework.

Well, to be honest, housework is ALWAYS on the bottom of any list I make!

Saturday evening and overnight was very stormy. We had 2 ½ of rain overnight. The wind was extremely strong! I heard on the weather last night that Sunday (which had a “milder” wind) was clocked at 71 miles per hour in a town in our general location.

We lost a large limb off a large Cottonwood by the barn during the night. When Wayne and Candy came over for the weekly get-together, the boys had planned on cutting it off the tree, but it was still too windy.


Limb down!

Close-up

Yesterday (Monday) was a very mild day --- no WIND!!! Wayne and Norm cut the limb down while Candy and I went shopping.


After the surgery

Branches cut and put over the fence

I got the rest of the equipment needed for my air plant container. I even got a bamboo wind chime for my grove. I will hang it there when it’s drier.


Norm and I planted my lilies of the valley in the grove before supper. It rained off and on all day so the ground was even soggier than before! My work gloves and my shoes were caked with mud! But they are planted and hopefully will grow to take over the area and ‘drown’ out the thistles, burdock and nettles.

On another note, “if you feed them, they will come!” My bird population is really growing! I actually saw a pheasant in the back yard last week .. we hear them but they never show themselves! Candy identified the Harris Sparrow, which is a traveler – they nest and live in the Artic, so are just going through. She has them and thought they were Laplander Longspurs but after looking at ours and looking at hers closer, she decided (with our help) that they ARE Harris Sparrows, which are just as neat as they are not native here!

While shopping, Candy picked up a small plastic pot-base to use for grape jelly for her Orioles ... she has seen them at the hummingbird feeder. I decided not to get one, as I doubted we would have Orioles here. But Norm called me to the window yesterday afternoon, and THERE!!! A bright bit of orange on my feeder! So I grabbed a plastic jar lid and make a jelly feeder in the hopes he will return! The hummingbird feeder is back up (after being dumped in the storm) as well for him to enjoy.

And another bird! I saw a Purple Finch this morning at the feeder. Candy was right (she usually IS) --- feed and be patient!

So the list is now: Rosy Breast Grosbeak, Purple Finch, Harris Sparrow, Oriole .. as well as the “normal” ones – Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Grackle, Brewster Blackbird and Red Wing Blackbird. And the hopes of many, many more as the trees are planted and the bushes are put in – by next year they should be producing buds and berries to attract even more birds!

This bright and sunny morning (no WIND) is going to have a trip to Tracey .... Candy and I stopped at an antique store we had been at this winter. I went in to see if a door was still there ($20) and it was. I paid for it – Norm and I will go collect it today. We have only one way in and out of this house; Norm has promised me that he would put a door in to the East ... on the landing heading down to the basement. Wayne and he will do the work; Norm said I could get the door if it was 34” or wider, so I got it!! Wait until you see it!!

Note .. all these pictures are from Google .. I have not gotten any really good pictures, myself, but believe me! I have seen the birds!

Although I DO have a sort-of good picture of the Oriole!


Until then, it’s a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day with no wind!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A rainy couple of days

We went to sister Candy’s yesterday ... Norm was going to help Wayne cut down a tree. It was too windy to cut down trees, so they did a branch of a tree far away from buildings.

Candy took me on a walk in their grove; it is a very, VERY over-grown place that has not been taken care of for years and years and years. But Wayne is a tidy-freak (sorry, Wayne, but it’s true!) and he cannot stand to have a messy grove! So he and Candy have cut paths and resting spots in it – they will put benches or tree stumps in there for sitting and resting.

Wayne and Norm (unable to let us have fun without them) joined us for a very pleasant walk. It was just drizzling and the wind was minimal because the trees stopped it. They showed us some willows (they think they are “black willows”) that are gigantic! Candy plans on calling the DNR to see if they should be registered. I have never seen Black Willows and Candy says she has never seen any that big! They must be at least three million years old (or at least eighty – the house was built in the twenties).

Candy is starting to dress her brand new loom for her first project – I helped her get started after the boys got the warp beam and the cloth beam put on with tape. Then I watched “Emma” while Candy threaded the reed.

Candy sent home a billion Lilies of the Valley for me to plant in my grove – I have a natural area that I am fixing up; I am looking for a bench or something for sitting on.

When Norm got home from work (he works part-time at a church-retreat / farm, we finished planting our trees. Which reminds me, I should list all the trees we have planted, so far. We are getting another bunch this next month, but we DO have all the trees (so far) planted.

We have planted: Elderberries, Chokecherries, Dogwood, Dwarf Flowering Cherries (Sand Cherries), Weeping Willows, American Chestnuts, Plums, and probably more that I can’t remember. Our last bunch came from the Arbor Day Foundation – join and they send you free “baby” trees. We got (and planted) Flowering Crabapples, White Dogwoods, Redbuds, Goldenraintrees and Washington Hawthorns .... I don’t know if all of them will grow in this area but we will see – it’s worth a try.

Which reminds me of an exciting bit of news I heard this spring – our planting zone has been changed from a “four” to a “five” – which means that we have better chances of growing plants and trees than we ever had before. (And “they” claim there is no global warming!)

The trees that ARE coming are: European Mountain Ash, Filberts (Hazelnuts) and Apricots.

I think we need to stop ordering and planting trees – we are running out of room, as we have promised each other to not plant trees in the south – it’s too pretty a view to “ruin” with tall trees.

Another bit of exciting news – I saw three Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks this morning – two males and a female! I have never seen them here! Candy called to say that she has Orioles feeding on her hummingbird feeder and a Redheaded Woodpecker! I saw a Pheasant in my back yard, yesterday, too.

The Birds are Coming! You have a beautiful day!



A view from my rainy window this morning

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood

I have had some questions about our fencing and the way the chickens are taken care of. So I will take time to answer that.

First of all, we have the fence connected to the barn so that they can go in and out as they please during the day. At night we lock them into their house and let them out in the morning – this helps keep the critters from getting to them, if there be any critters that are close enough to try.

When they are released in the morning, they can go out into the yard (or not) and scratch and play in their new playpen.

Looking for bugs in the tall grass

The fencing we are using is wooden snow fence. This is used in the North along the north side of a road to catch snow and help stop it from piling on the roads. They use awful looking plastic, now, but I’ve seen it whipped to death in a strong blizzard and not do any good at all! The wooden fence runs about $40 for a 50 foot roll but it lasts forever. We got a bunch from cousin Kathy when they moved into town, picked up a bunch here and there and have bought a few new rolls, so we have a lot!

Close up of the fence
Internet picture of a roll of fencing


When I was a child, I lived in the northern part of Minnesota where the snow was up to my chest at times. We had the snow fence up all winter so that we could use the roads with little snowplow help. In the summer, the fences were rolled into LARGE rolls and stacked .. a bunch were stacked along the road close to our house and we were able to make ‘houses’ and ‘forts’ in them. Lots of fun!

On another note, a bunch of us have been arguing about the bright star in the west .... what is it? I have said Jupiter; brother-in-law Wayne said Mars; niece Brook said Venus (but Venus is the MORNING star!); Candy and Norm said “It’s something bright!” Tonight Candy looked it up on the Internet .. and it is ........................ definitely a planet, but you will have to go look for yourself!!!

It will be another beautiful day tomorrow. You have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy May Day!

And look what is outside my door this lovely morning!!







We have beautiful sunshine and a fairly strong breeze but a beautiful day.

Yesterday was moving day for the chickens. We moved them from a small yard to about one-quarter of an acre of green grass and fenced in the old lilac bush in hopes they will clean that out.


Part of the old, scratched-to-death yard


Fence going up

Lilacs fenced in

Norm planted raspberry bushes, as well; we watered all the new trees because there hasn’t been any rain since they were planted. Will probably have to water them again this week to keep them going. My oak trees had bunnies visiting so Norm sprayed a Tabasco / pepper / chili powder combination on them as he couldn’t find any wire to wrap about them.

And now Norm is asking me to go out and join him in another project (OH! My aching body!) so I need to get this posted.

Green sun tea (sorry, Heb!)

You have a beautiful day!